It’s far too long since I’ve blogged but the reason will soon become apparent. On August 24th I returned from Scotland after ten glorious days shooting a film. I played a character of my dreams for the sequel to Robin Hardy’s 1973 film, “The Wicker Man” appropriately titled “The Wicker Tree.”

Three days after returning from an absolute high, I suddenly, for no apparent reason, had a foreboding sense of doom descend upon me. In addition, I noticed a slight pulsating in my left eye. I reluctantly called my cardiologist who, listening to my symptoms, decided I should wear a twenty-four hour heart monitor and two days later get an echocardiogram – both of which I did. The echocardiogram was done at 10:00 AM; my cell phone rang 6:00 PM. “You know I’m not an alarmist”, the doctor stated “but you have what killed John Ritter and Lucille Ball. “What’s that?” I squeaked. “You have an Aortic Aneurysm and it’s very, very serious. You need to see a surgeon this week.” Less than two weeks later I went into surgery spending four days in the ICU followed by six more days in the hospital.

So, what is this blog really about? It’s about the decision I made before I went under the knife. I decided that I would not only use this experience for learning, I would translate the experience into lessons. Within less than four days, I was, in my drugged haze, interviewing the nurses and the surgeon.

So here is the short version. Everything is attitude. It determines the quality of your success in every area of your life and it is a choice. The three senior nurses told me that in their combined experience of seventy-three years, they are convinced that people who have a positive attitude and respect the nurses and doctors taking care of them, heal faster.
Other lessons that I learned is to surround yourself only with positive, loving people, to look fear in the face and decided to survive. Listen and take the advice of those who know more than you do about your health, see yourself coming out of the surgery successfully, relax and lastly, visualize something in the future that you passionately want to do and hold that vision both before and after your surgery.

These lessons can be applied to every aspect of your life. If you would like to read a more in depth story about the lessons learned that can be applied to your life, go to my web site and sign up for my monthly “Strategies for Living an Exceptional Life” at www.jamesmapes.com